Dismissing Polaroid as the camera company of yesterday is easy. Can it revive itself against the landscape of limitless photo apps? Conventional wisdom would say no, but that same wisdom said apps were dead, and we are in the land of chatbots.
The millions of people playing Pokemon Go roundly disagree, though comparing the Nintendo machine with Polaroid may be a stretch. Or is it? An old company seemingly left on the side of the road for its feature-rich competition. Simplicity sells. And what’s simpler than a Polaroid?
What is Polaroid Swing
Swing is taking on the photo sharing landscape with a bit of a twist. We’ve seen the Apple Live Photos, Boomerang, and HTC’s Zoe shots. But, those have not had a dedicated sharing tool. Boomerang is the exception thanks to its integration with Instagram. Polaroid is building on the ‘living photo’ allowing users to shoot one-second videos and turn them into a moveable photo.
There’s a bit of bad news. Polaroid Swing is iOS only, with the Android version listed as ‘coming soon.’ Nothing like the phrase ‘coming soon’ in tech. Could mean tomorrow or maybe never. It’s the nature of the beast.
Controls on the photo are a nice throwback to polaroids. Instead of shaking it, gesture controls are used to show the full second.
And the app has the backing of Biz Stone, Twitter’s co-creator. Headline name behind a once heralded camera company. Now, it has to convince the legions of Instagram users to either add Swing to their cluttered home screen or switch over entirely. The latter isn’t happening anytime soon, but Instagram’s shift to algorithmic sorting over chronological has users grumbling still.
Can Polaroid Swing move in with simplicity? Or does Boomerang and Vine already fill that need of ‘living photos?’ It’ll take more than a second to convince users, but pairing features with simplicity is never a bad start.